On January 24th, two former members of the Marlins’ farm system have their birthdays. Does anyone remember Matt Demarco or Nick McCurdy?
Nick McCurdy (38)
McCurdy, a 6’3”, 185 lb Thomasville, Alabama native and a right-handed pitcher, was picked by the Baltimore Orioles in the 35th round of the 2002 draft, 1,036th overall out of Oklahoma State University. It marked the third time he was chosen in the draft, as the Colorado Rockies had spent a 45th round pick in 1999 and a 33rd round pick in 2000 on him. In two seasons of collegiate ball with OSU, he put up a 23-9 record and a 3.91 ERA, starting in 26 of his 38 pitching appearances. He earned a 1.38 WHIP and struck out 121 of 161 batters while playing for the Cowboys.
From 2002 through 2007, McCurdy made his way up the Orioles’ minor league ladder, with stops for the Aberdeen IronBirds, the Delmarva Shorebirds, the Frederick Keys, the Bowie Baysox, the Ottawa Lynx, and the Norfolk Tides.
In 2008, McCurdy would find himself in the Atlantic League, playing for the independent York Revolution. He struck out 60 in 53 innings for the unaffiliated minor league that was littered with former major league players, posting a 2.04 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP. Encouraged, the Marlins signed him to a minor league deal in August.
During that month, his only as a Marlins’ farmhand, McCurdy rose very quickly through the ranks, starting with nine innings over seven games with the Greensboro Grasshoppers in which he struck out 11 innings versus only one walk for a 2.00 ERA. He then started a pair of games with the Carolina Mudcats two levels above the Hoppers, allowing three earned runs on eight hits in eight innings of work. He then made one scoreless relief appearance with the Albuquerque Isotopes, tossing one inning. Regardless of his potential, the Marlins decided that his advanced age (28 at the time) was one hurdle too many to continue his progression. He was out of the game in 2009, then played 11 2⁄3 innings for the Revolution in 2010.
Matt DeMarco (38)
Matt DeMarco was a 6’, 172 lb. infielder from Woodbury, New Jersey. The Marlins chose him in the 11th round of the 1998 draft, 340th off the board out of Gloucester Catholic HS.
DeMarco slashed .218/.278/.269 in 46 games for the GCL Marlins in 1999, then went 21-for-92 with 16 RBI with the Kane County Cougars in 29 games in 2000. Still with the Cougars in 2001, he slashed .252/.317/.297 in 77 contests.
DeMarco languished at the high-A level for three seasons with the Jupiter Hammerheads starting in 2002, appearing in 270 games and slashing .252/.306/.305 with 107 RBI. After the 2004 campaign, the St. Louis Cardinals selected DeMarco in the rule 5 minor league draft, but didn’t remain at the prescribed level in order for the Cardinals to retain him. After returning to the Hammerheads, he peaked in 2005 with the double-A Carolina Mudcats, with whom he went five-for-24 in 14 games.
For two years starting in 2006, DeMarco played 172 games for the Camden Riversharks in the Atlantic League, slashing .285/.332/.406 with nine homers and 83 RBI.
That’s it for today, a light one in the annals of Marlins’ historic birthdays. If January 24th is your birthday, then Happy Birthday to you, as well as to DeMarco and McCurdy. Tune in tomorrow for more in Marlins’ history.